This podcast is for those who love football and also want to improve their English. This week, we talk about the football phrase, an orange card. Read the transcript of the show below. This is a great way for learners of English to practice. You can also check out our massive glossary of footballing phrases here. We have hundreds of previous posts and podcasts too on our website. If you are a teacher of English, why don’t you use the audio and transcript to provide practice for their students: Try some true/false questions, pick out some key vocabulary before playing the podcast as an audio quiz, etc. And learners of English can access all resources for free.  Let us know if you have any suggestions or questions then you can contact us at

Learn English Through Football

DB: Hi there everyone. Welcome to the podcast for those who love football and also want to improve their English. My name’s Damon, and I’m enjoying some cooler weather, finally, in Tokyo. It has been a really really hot summer and September, but finally things have got more like autumn. I’m sure Damian, in London, is happy no matter what the weather, after Tottenham beat Liverpool (click here to learn about the history of the club)in the languagecaster derby. Of course, he is a Spurs fan, while Liverpool are my team.

On today’s short football language podcast we’ll be talking about a phrase connected with that match. Tottenham Hotspur (click here to learn about the history of the name) won the game 2-1 after a late late own goal by centre back Joel Matip. A cruel end for Liverpool after playing much of the game with ten men and a big part of the second half with nine!

And the phrase we are looking at today is connected with sendings off, red cards, yellow cards and bookings.

Stinger: You are listening to (in Swahili)

DB: Yes, you are listening to languagecaster and that message was in Swahili.


DB: Right, let’s start with the word ‘booking‘ or, as a verb, ‘to book‘ or ‘to be booked‘. The referee has a small book or piece of paper in his or her pocket, and when a player commits a foul that deserves a card – yellow or red, the referee ‘books‘ the player. They write their name and shirt number in the book. This is a booking.

In the Tottenham vs Liverpool match there were 12 bookings. So, the referee showed a card 12 times. It sounds like it was a dirty game, a game were there were a lot of bad fouls, but most people thought both teams played the game fairly.

Sending Off

DB: There were two sendings off (verb to send off), though. A sending off is when a player gets two yellow cards, which equals a red card, or a straight red and has to leave the field. They are ‘off ‘ the pitch.

Both sendings off were for Liverpool players, which meant it was first 11 Spurs players vs 10 Liverpool players and then 11 vs 9.

So, why were the Liverpool players sent off? Well the second sending off for Jota, was for two yellow cards, two bookings. But the fist red card, was for Jones, who was first shown yellow, but after a VAR check was then shown a straight red. A straight red means the foul was very serious and the player will get a three match ban, they won’t be able to play for three games.

Orange Card

So, today’s main phrase is orange card. Jones was first booked and shown a yellow and then later it was changed to red. If you add yellow to red you get orange, an orange card. Some people think the foul was a yellow and some people think it was a red. The decision is not an easy clear decision to make.

All football fans know the feeling when a player is given a red card and some think, that was a good decision and others think the decision was harsh. But both sides can understand that it wasn’t clear. In this situation, as a fan, you can say, ‘That was an orange card.’

Of course, there is no orange card for the referee, but when we describe a foul as an orange card, we mean it is 50/50 yellow or red.

What do I think about Curtis Jones’ red card as a Liverpool fan? Well, after VAR, I can see it was a red card, but at the time, I though it was a yellow, so… an orange card!

Stinger: Your are listening to (Bayern Munich fan)


DB: Remember to contact us – twitter, threads, Facebook, etc, or via or forum on our website or email at if you have any ideas for football phrases, if you have any questions, predictions, or comments.

OK, thanks for listening and enjoy all the football where ever you are. Ta-ra!

Learn English Through Football
Learn English Through Football

Free football language podcast for learners of English brought to you by Damian and Damon. Interviews, match reviews, predictions all with full language support for football fans around the world who wish to improve their English language skills.

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I was born and brought up near Chester in the north west of England. I have always loved playing and talking about sport, especially football!
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